“Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” exhibit visits the SWC

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The image above is one of the many photographs displayed in the “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” exhibit. This one depicts the remains of several victims of the genocide that were not discovered until over a decade later.

This October the Southwest Collection is proud to host the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission’s (THGC) thirty-four panel, “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” exhibit. Through this exhibit, the THGC hopes to educate citizens about the circumstances that lead to the Bosnian Genocide.

Genocides begin when intolerant and hateful individuals dehumanize others in a society by putting them into separate and unequal classes and deliberately harming them. According to the Genocide Watch organization, genocides and mass murders led to the killing of more than 170 million people, more than the sum of the deaths in all 20th and 21st century wars combined. The exhibit, Prijedor, tells the story of genocide in the Bosnian city of Prijedor between 1992 and 1995. The exhibit honors both the memory of the lives lost in the Prijedor genocide and the experiences of the survivors whose stories are told within the 34 panel series.

The exhibit will visit eight Texas venues over the course of the next two years. Prior to its stop in Lubbock, the exhibit was displayed at the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown. Following Lubbock, the exhibit will travel to Midland College in January 2014.

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The final panel of “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” acknowledges the contributions of the residents of Prijedor whose donations of time, photos, and artifacts helped make the exhibit possible. More poignantly, it thanks the survivors whose stories the exhibit tells, often in their own words. Their names can be seen in the top-right.

The THGC’s mission is to increases awareness of genocide and the Holocaust through educational programs, advice, assistance, and coordination of groups, events, and volunteers. Chaja Verveer, THGC commissioner and a Holocaust survivor, says, “Our kids need to be taught to recognize and fight bigotry, to stem hatred and prejudice, and learn about living together, embracing diversity.”  The “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” exhibit is open to all. College students, middle and high school students, and educators are particularly encouraged to attend.

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The text of “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide” is a narrative guided by the stories of the survivors. As you can see here, many of those survivors emigrated to St. Louis and later graciously made themselves available for oral history interviews so that this tragedy could be documented for all time.

Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission programs include teacher workshops providing guidance in teaching the Holocaust and other genocides, the recording of concentration camp liberator oral histories, and the enhancing of social studies curriculum through requiring the teaching of genocide-related content in school classrooms. For more information regarding Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission programs and Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month (April), please do not hesitate to contact them.

–   Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

–   Photo by John Perrin

National Hispanic Heritage Month & the TTU Hispanic Student Society

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Submissions for the logo of 1991’s Hispanic Culture Week at TTU, which is held every April.

September 15th through October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month. This week, we’d like to tell you about Texas Tech’s Hispanic Student Society (HSS) and our University Archive’s collection of its records. The collection contains details about the association’s activities from 1978 to 2006, including financial materials, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, membership rosters, posters, one scrapbook, and over 100 photographs.

In 1964, the Mexican-American organization of Los Tertulianos, which means “the Social Gatherers,” became Texas Tech University’s first student organization composed of minority students. Socializing was a key element of their daily routine, as was encouraging, supporting, and embracing their individual quest for a college degree. A natural progression of its their at an academic institution, students via the association promoted the importance of education, spoke out on social causes, and left a legacy for others to emulate.

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This is a promotional flyer for one of the HSS’s many events. This event, Café con Leche, featured several Latino poets and authors sharing their work.

By the early 1970s, Los Tertulianos had assimilated into the University and yet maintained an independent voice. They participated in intramural sports, handcrafted Homecoming floats (their entry won the 1967 Sweepstakes Award,) sponsored a Homecoming Queen, and held an educational seminar for Mexican American high school students. Change in the status quo is never easy, and some viewed Los Tertulianos as militant. Undaunted, the organization continued maturing, and with each new class new challenges were faced and overcome.

At some point the association lost focus, so in 1980 the students refocused and became more active on the social issues front. They renamed the organization the United Mexican-American Students (UMAS.) Like the rising phoenix, this rebirth signaled resurgence in their quest for knowledge of self and heritage. UMAS maintained a foothold on the traditional collegiate experience tempered with a palatable Mexican American flair.

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A submission for the HSS logo when the group underwent its most recent reorganization. Many logos were submitted, all of which can be found in this HSS Records.

The next generation of Mexican Americans students decided to remake the group in their own image and created the Hispanic Student Society (HSS). HSS continues to promote education, find avenues of academic support, and contribute to our community.

As always, our Reference Department is always happy to arrange access to the collection, as well as many of our other materials.

– Daniel Sanchez, Oral Historian at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library.